Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson has decided to withdraw from Mobile World Congress 2020 over Coronavirus fears. The company said in a press conference release earlier today that everything planned for the event would instead be shown at local ”Ericsson Unboxed” events. The events are planned for later this year.
Coronavirus has put several sporting events on hold in China due to its quick spread. There are more than 20,000 cases in China, where 490 people have died. Several cases have been reported out of the country and two people have lost their lives, including one in Hong Kong.
The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China back in December but it has quickly spread to other regions. The spread has had an effect on the tech industry and other businesses, with companies limiting travel and having supply chain problems.
Ericsson Joins LG On The Skip
Ericsson is not the first company to skip on the famous event. Yesterday, LG announced that it would not be in the event over the same reason. Just hours before, organizers of the event had reportedly said the virus had a minimal impact on it.
MWC organizers have said the event is scheduled to go on but reports say they have been taking steps to make sure everything goes well, including having a no handshake policy.
MWC is the home of big tech announcements every year but the virus has raised major concerns among companies and everybody in charge of holding events that bring in large crowds.
ZTE Will Make An Appearance
Yesterday, it was rumored that Chinese smartphone giant ZTE had decided to join LG and skip on the event. The company later confirmed that it would be at the event but with a change. The company will not hold a press conference, it will instead be there with a stand.
Like Ericsson, LG has announced that it will hold events to show its products. Those events will take place later this year. MWC is still over two weeks away so Ericsson, ZTE, and LG might just be the first to skip on the event or make changes to make sure nothing happens.
Other Events In Doubt
Coronavirus has put other big events in doubt, including some F1 races. Earlier this week, it was reported by BBC Sport and others that the virus could bring a delay to the first race, which is scheduled to take place in Vietnam. According to the reports, there is a belief that the race will have to be at least postponed. F1 also has a race scheduled for China, where several sporting events have been postponed already.
Organizers of the 2020 Olympics recently expressed their concerns over the virus. The sporting event, which will take place this summer, will bring in thousands of people. The virus has reportedly caused delays in some qualification events.
MWC 2020 will take place in Barcelona, Spain from 24-27 February, 2020.